Airobug – “the aerial application system”
The Airobug aerial application system was installed at Bridge Farm Group’s Clay Lake nursery in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
Head Grower Manager, Antonio Rodrigue said, “we needed a reliable and efficient system for the application of biological control products to our crops. We have used Koppert natural enemies for a number of years at our other site. However with the new Clay Lake site development, traditional manual methods of applying beneficial insects wasn’t practical. This was due to the new design and installation of the raised benches in the blocks”.
“We have found the Airobug is able to distribute the beneficial insects more accurately, releasing the carrier material uniformly across the plants, whether they are on raised benches or on the floor.”
“This would not have been achieved by manual labour in such an efficient and timely way. It is a great labour-saving device, giving about a 75% reduction in time spent applying the biocontrol, when compared with manual application.”
Leaders in mechanical application
“Koppert is the world leader in the development of mechanical application devices and systems that improve application efficiency, save time, and reduce labour costs. Koppert engineers visited the site and tailor-made the Airobug to meet our facility’s specifications. The engineers were very supportive throughout the whole installation process.”
Antonio concluded that the Airobug has met his practical and business needs. “We have been impressed by the Airobug and Koppert’s know-how. This is not just a product, it’s a complete system. It is built around the Airobug which is the principle delivery system that runs on the overhead monorail rails systems in the glasshouse. The lateral distribution of the product can be increased by adjustment of the revolving dosage containers installed on either side of the Airobug device, powered by 24V converse fans.”
“The ‘aerial application system’ is used almost on a weekly basis for delivering a range of Koppert products including Thripex, Swirski-Mite, Spidex, Spical, Limonica, Chrysopa, Macro-Mite and Entomite” explained David MacDonald, who is Koppert’s consultant to Bridge Farm Group. David added, “The operator can programme the required forward and back speed, and rates of application, by the computerised touch-screen control pad, which is attached to a control unit on the device.”
Bridge Farm Group is a high quality herb, ornamental plant and flowers producer. The aerial application system is a pivotal part of the crop protection strategy at Clay Lake, in helping to keep pest populations under control and maintain high standards in crop quality.
David MacDonald and Adrian Jackson
Koppert UK Ltd